The Hennepin county medical examiner on Monday declared the manner of George Floyd’s death to be a “homicide.”
“Decedent experience a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the examiner said.
Cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”
The statement added that “manner of death is not a legal determination of culpability or intent.”
Under “other significant conditions” it said Floyd suffered from heart disease and hypertension, and listed fentanyl intoxication and
recent drug use.
Follow the latest developments in our rolling coverage of US protests
Tense protests over decades of police brutality against black people have quickly spread from Minneapolis to cities across the US. The protests began in the Midwestern city earlier this week, after a police officer handcuffed and pressed a knee on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, until he stopped breathing and died.
Floyd grew up in Houston, Texas, and moved to Minneapolis in 2014 for work. Before his death, he was looking for work after having been laid off from his job as a security guard at a Latin bistro due to Minnesota’s stay-at-home coronavirus restrictions. Standing 6 feet, 6 inches (1.98 meters) tall, his friends described him as a “gentle giant.”
Protests were mostly peaceful on Saturday, though some became violent as the night wore on. In Washington, D.C., the National Guard was deployed outside the White House. At least one person died in shootings in downtown Indianapolis; police said no officers were involved. Officers were injured in Philadelphia, while in New York two NYPD vehicles lurched into a crowd, knocking people to the ground.
In Los Angeles, protesters faced off with officers with shouts of “Black Lives Matter!” as police confronted crowds with batons and rubber bullets. In some cities including LA, Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Minneapolis, protests have turned into riots, with people looting and destroying local shops and businesses.
President Donald Trump has threatened to send in the military to quell the protests, saying his “administration will stop mob violence and will stop it cold.” Trump’s response has inflamed tensions across the country. He blamed the rioting on alleged far-left groups, but Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told reporters he had heard multiple unconfirmed reports of white supremacists stoking the violence.
Many journalists covering the protests have found themselves targeted by law enforcement. On Friday, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested while covering the story in Minneapolis, and several reporters have been hit with projectiles or detained while on air. DW’s Stefan Simons was fired at by police twice as he reported on the unrest over the weekend.
North of the US border, in Canada, thousands of protesters took to the streets in Vancouver and Toronto. In Berlin, American expats and other demonstrators gathered outside the US Embassy. In London, protesters kneeled in Trafalgar Square before marching past the Houses of Parliament and stopping at the British capital’s US Embassy.
Protests raged in the US capital, Washington, after the district began its 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on Sunday. More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, with some lighting fires outside the president’s residence. The New York Times reported that Secret Service had brought Trump into a bunker as a safety precaution.
Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Washington D.C. and other US cities extended curfews as protests entered a sixth night. The state of Arizona in the west instituted a statewide, weeklong curfew after demonstrators clashed with police. Around 5,000 troops from the National Guard also have been deployed in 15 US states.
The declaration comes after the family of George Floyd received an autopsy report showing that he died of suffocation. The finding contrasts an official ruling that he had died from pre-existing heart problems.
“Independent medical examiners who conducted an autopsy of Floyd on Sunday determined that asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause of death,” said Ben Crump, a lawyer for the family.
The death of Floyd, an unarmed African American, during his arrest by a white police officer has triggered a wave of protests and riots across US cities.
ls/rt (AFP, AP)